– What can be revealed after two days of practice, before anybody dons pads and nobody’s been bruised?
“Everybody’s an All-American when its 72 degrees and partly cloudy,” Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris said Saturday. Morris saw plenty of reasons for optimism after more than 2½ hours and sufficient room for improvement; even with All-American quarterback Tajh Boyd.
“He’s not as sharp as I want him to be but if you’d asked me that two days into practice last year I’d said the same thing,” Morris said. “But I don’t want him to look like an All-American yet. I wouldn’t have anything to do if I did that.”
Several players intrigued him, some were aggravating and a few downright frustrating, but Morris pushed them harder and faster than any time last year, jamming the offense down their throats for the second of three days.
“We are going to be faster. We can’t help to be,” he said. “It’s all out or get out.”
Morris wants Boyd, a third-year starter in the system, to command the offense. Left tackle Brandon Thomas said the first practice was faster than any a year ago. Morris said Saturday’s was faster still.
“We’re loading them down. We’re taxing them as hard as we can tax them right now,” Morris said. “We’ve got a foot up their tails right now and we’re not letting up. We’ve got one more full day of installation and pretty much 90 percent of the offense will be in.
“Then we’ll repeat everything.”
Morris provided snapshots of several players at key positions.
Comparing him to Andre Ellington, last year’s leading rusher, Morris said freshman Tyshon Dye was “a bigger, bulkier Andre,” adding that he was “as lost as a goose, but he isn’t the only one.”
Morris likes what he’s seen in two days from freshman receivers Mike Williams and T.J. Green, comparing Williams to DeAndre Hopkins, last year’s leading pass catcher and a first-round NFL pick.
“Mike Williams has made two or three plays in camp that makes you say, that guy looks a little bit No. 6, going up and making some plays.”
Clemson coaches hope redshirt freshman Jay Jay McCullough can emerge as a dominant tight end, “and for two days he’s flashed,” Morris said.“He’s better than he was in the spring, but that didn’t take much.”
Sophomore Stanton Seckinger, a converted receiver two years into learning tight end, “is a guy who’s going to make an impact this year,” Morris said, “He can run, has great hands and is physical.
“He wants to contribute, he’s a great competitor and in this system that’s a great position to play.”
Working in shorts, Morris said he doesn’t have an accurate gauge of the line, though it was evident there’s more talent and depth.
“We’re moving some guys around, trying to find the right mix,” he said. “It’s hard to say until the pads are on.”
Morris said redshirt freshman quarterback Chad Kelly is trying to accelerate his recovery from surgery to repair a torn ACL.
“He’s really pushing the envelope,” Morris said. “He’s like a fly. You’ve got to get him out of there, tell him ‘you can’t do that.’
“He’s wanting to get involved and he’s constantly around.”